13 Oct 2015 at 11:08am
It’s mind blowing how time moves and the course your life takes over the years.
Here is an email Glenn Middleton sent to me in 2002 and my response at the time to his question of whether I would ever consider doing workshops.
I visited your gallery during a recent visit to the South West, and I just thought that I’d let you know that really enjoyed your images. Their simplicity, and the stunning use of light is haunting. I found them very inspiring. So, after a lay-off of well over a decade I’ve dusted off my trusty OM4 and begun taking photography seriously again. Thanks for providing the inspiration, it’s something I should have done long ago. It’s all to easy these days to get so involved in your ‘day job’, that you literally let life pass you by. It’s refreshing to have an interest that requires you to take a slow look at life from a different perspective, and appreciate the subtleties in everything around you.
Perhaps you could tell me if you’ve ever run any workshop type event in the past, or if you plan to run any in the future. I would be very keen to participate. Alternatively, an opportunity to accompany you on a shoot would be gratefully appreciated. I know this is a big ask, and I’d fully understand if it couldn’t be accommodated.
Once again, thanks again for providing both the motivation to get re-started, and setting the standard in terms of the quality of image to strive for.
Thanks for the compliments. I have a real passion for photography and am as excited about getting photos back today as I was over 13 years ago when I started. I’m glad to hear your getting back into it too and hope your getting some goodies!
I haven’t ever run a workshop as I’m not comfortable doing the public speaking bit and generally only take good pics when I’m on my own. I think photography is a bit that way, something you need time for and no distractions. Who knows I may one day have photography nights and talk about how I get the shots I do. The biggest thing for me is I dont really know what I could say that couldn’t be said in 5 minutes. It would be a short night.
My biggest advice would be to make sure you get your work processed at a professional lab and if at all possible get into digital. All my images are now digitized and corrected through photoshop. It gives you the control to make the images come alive and be as impressive as an original transparency. Of course you cant make a bad image awesome so you still need to get the right composition and exposure. The most important thing would be the composition as it makes all the difference. I always use the rule of 3rd’s and generally try to shoot at about 45 degrees either side of the sun. This gives the best modelling on your subject. Also I always shoot in the first and last half an hour of the day. You cant beat this light and it can really help an image. I have taken heaps of average images but these days I’ll only shoot if it looks great and wont waste film. This works for me and it isn’t uncommon for me to come home without even getting the camera out of the bag.
My advice is to read heaps of magazines and books and check out what everyone else is doing. I taught myself and then spent the next 13 years trying to perfect it. Even today I am improving which is such a great feeling. Once you learn to see light like a camera then your on your way to understanding what makes a great shot.
Hope this is of some help to you and good luck with your photos.